Discussion:
There are ASMB5's on fleabay right now for $30/ea (firmware storage module required for OpenBMC on the KGPE-D16/KCMA-D8)
(too old to reply)
T***@gmx.com
2018-10-31 23:11:44 UTC
Permalink
(This is the firmware storage module required to use OpenBMC on the
KGPE-D16/KCMA-D8 boards - with it at last one can have feature
equivalency with a proprietary system)

Great opportunity if you need but don't have one - they appear to be
brand new.

Raptor says either the ASMB4 or the ASMB5 will work.

While the facebook version of OpenBMC is stripped down (they used that
one for smaller firmware size afaik) and not as nice as the IBM OpenBMC
found on the various OpenPOWER machines it is still secure and much
nicer than the exploit filled default BMC firmware from ASUS.
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Angel Pons
2018-11-02 23:10:25 UTC
Permalink
Hello,

Is it me, or is that thing a SPI flash chip on a PCB plus a few
transistors? It seems like copying the PCB design is rather doable, or am I
missing something?

Regards,

Angel Pons
Daniel Gröber
2018-11-03 04:32:44 UTC
Permalink
Hi,
Post by Angel Pons
Is it me, or is that thing a SPI flash chip on a PCB plus a few
transistors? It seems like copying the PCB design is rather doable, or am I
missing something?
Indeed, very doable, but tedious work ;)

Here you go:

https://github.com/DanielG/asmb4
https://oshpark.com/shared_projects/jZLoDQ3Y

I had the schematics lying around on paper for a while now but I was
too lazy to digitize them until now. The design is completely
untested, I just ordered some boards though so we'll see.

FWIW if anyone is interrested in getting some assembled boards I might
do a small production run.

--Daniel
Andrew Luke Nesbit
2018-11-03 05:20:21 UTC
Permalink
Dear Daniel,

Please see my comments inline...
Post by Daniel Gröber
Post by Angel Pons
Is it me, or is that thing a SPI flash chip on a PCB plus a few
transistors? It seems like copying the PCB design is rather doable, or am I
missing something?
Indeed, very doable, but tedious work ;)
https://github.com/DanielG/asmb4
https://oshpark.com/shared_projects/jZLoDQ3Y
This is fantastic, thank you!!

I've been intending to do something very similar to this. So far I have
spent most of 2018 on my career change -- thankfully this is now done,
and should be more benefectial in the long run.

Cloning these modules would be very liberating, based on my experiences
so far. Thank you for your work. Please keep me in the loop for future
developments. Nevertheless, I'll continue to follow your work, and I
will be available to contribute financially if appropriate.

I have some ASMB4- and ASMB5-iKVM modules, on which I have been doing
OpenBMC experiments for the D16 and D8. This is now music to my ears :-)
Post by Daniel Gröber
I had the schematics lying around on paper for a while now but I was
too lazy to digitize them until now. The design is completely
untested, I just ordered some boards though so we'll see.
If there's any possibility that you might have one or two spare
prototypes or clones to send me for evaluation, please let me know :-)

I'm happy to cover costs, plus some extra money to contribute to further
development or your time and labor. This is an important project and I
am prepared to put money on the table to help move it forward.
Post by Daniel Gröber
FWIW if anyone is interrested in gettingd some assembled boards I might
do a small production run.
Yes. As I already mentioned, I can contribute financially to support
libre-friendly designs. I am also keen to help to verify designs and
actual prototypes, conduct formal(?) methods for testing, and to help to
load these modules in UAT, STAGING, or PROD environments.

Kind regards,

Andrew
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Timothy Pearson
2018-11-03 18:28:06 UTC
Permalink
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA256
Post by Andrew Luke Nesbit
Dear Daniel,
Please see my comments inline...
Post by Daniel Gröber
Post by Angel Pons
Is it me, or is that thing a SPI flash chip on a PCB plus a few
transistors? It seems like copying the PCB design is rather doable, or am I
missing something?
Indeed, very doable, but tedious work ;)
https://github.com/DanielG/asmb4
https://oshpark.com/shared_projects/jZLoDQ3Y
This is fantastic, thank you!!
I've been intending to do something very similar to this.
Very nice work! I too had been intending to work on this at some
nebulous date in the future, great to see it actually done and boards
ordered!

Quick question -- how are you handling MAC allocation? Each module
comes with the MAC address on a sticker; the mainboard itself doesn't
have a MAC allocated to the BMC port until the module is installed.

In any case, we'll probably be switching away from the proprietary
modules for future work; great to see KiCad used here as well.

- --
Timothy Pearson
Raptor Engineering
+1 (415) 727-8645 (direct line)
+1 (512) 690-0200 (switchboard)
https://www.raptorengineering.com
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Daniel Gröber
2018-11-03 18:51:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by Timothy Pearson
Very nice work! I too had been intending to work on this at some
nebulous date in the future, great to see it actually done and boards
ordered!
I did it as soon as I got a KGPE-D16 which included the module as a
surprise :). I had been trying to get just the module for my KCMA-D8
for a while too.

Since it was unobtainium at the time I figured I'd just do it quickly
so I can copy it for myself. It really just took an afternoon or so to
do the physical probing and component identification.
Post by Timothy Pearson
Quick question -- how are you handling MAC allocation? Each module
comes with the MAC address on a sticker; the mainboard itself doesn't
have a MAC allocated to the BMC port until the module is installed.
Full disclosure: I haven't actually looked at the software side of the
BMC yet, so I wouldn't mind some pointers to what coreboot patches are
required these days etc.

Generally speaking it's always possible to just allocate "locally
administered" MAC addresses either randomly on first boot-up or by
having the user do it at flash time so it's not really a big deal IMO.

I hadn't intended to pre-flash these modules since it's just another
SPI flash for which coreboot user are likely to already have a
programmer anyways. If enough people are interested in it I could look
into that though.

--Daniel
Timothy Pearson
2018-11-04 20:21:10 UTC
Permalink
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA256
Post by Daniel Gröber
Post by Timothy Pearson
Very nice work! I too had been intending to work on this at some
nebulous date in the future, great to see it actually done and boards
ordered!
I did it as soon as I got a KGPE-D16 which included the module as a
surprise :). I had been trying to get just the module for my KCMA-D8
for a while too.
Since it was unobtainium at the time I figured I'd just do it quickly
so I can copy it for myself. It really just took an afternoon or so to
do the physical probing and component identification.
Post by Timothy Pearson
Quick question -- how are you handling MAC allocation? Each module
comes with the MAC address on a sticker; the mainboard itself doesn't
have a MAC allocated to the BMC port until the module is installed.
Full disclosure: I haven't actually looked at the software side of the
BMC yet, so I wouldn't mind some pointers to what coreboot patches are
required these days etc.
Generally speaking it's always possible to just allocate "locally
administered" MAC addresses either randomly on first boot-up or by
having the user do it at flash time so it's not really a big deal IMO.
I hadn't intended to pre-flash these modules since it's just another
SPI flash for which coreboot user are likely to already have a
programmer anyways. If enough people are interested in it I could look
into that though.
--Daniel
Since Raptor has the ability to allocate official MACs (non-local),
which can be useful at the enterprise level via DHCP pinning, I might
see if we can reactivate our existing BMC flash offering, but based on
your hardware if that's OK with you. Those are preflashed modules for
plug+play use; we only stopped offering them because of the prior
scarcity of the ASMB4 modules and lack of a replacement.

- --
Timothy Pearson
Raptor Engineering
+1 (415) 727-8645 (direct line)
+1 (512) 690-0200 (switchboard)
https://www.raptorengineering.com
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Daniel Gröber
2018-11-05 21:44:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by Timothy Pearson
Since Raptor has the ability to allocate official MACs (non-local),
which can be useful at the enterprise level via DHCP pinning, I might
see if we can reactivate our existing BMC flash offering, but based on
your hardware if that's OK with you.
Yeah, sure. I'm just making these to scratch my own itch. Didn't think
there'd be enough demand for you guys to bother producing them though?

--Daniel
Timothy Pearson
2018-11-05 21:45:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by Daniel Gröber
Post by Timothy Pearson
Since Raptor has the ability to allocate official MACs (non-local),
which can be useful at the enterprise level via DHCP pinning, I might
see if we can reactivate our existing BMC flash offering, but based on
your hardware if that's OK with you.
Yeah, sure. I'm just making these to scratch my own itch. Didn't think
there'd be enough demand for you guys to bother producing them though?
--Daniel
We have some internal demand still; not looking high volume at all but
maybe whip up a few spares while we're at it? :-)
--
Timothy Pearson
Raptor Engineering
+1 (415) 727-8645 (direct line)
+1 (512) 690-0200 (switchboard)
https://www.raptorengineering.com
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Thierry Laurion
2018-11-06 03:05:24 UTC
Permalink
Would also be interested in ordering some.

On Mon, Nov 5, 2018 at 4:46 PM Timothy Pearson <
Post by Timothy Pearson
Post by Daniel Gröber
Post by Timothy Pearson
Since Raptor has the ability to allocate official MACs (non-local),
which can be useful at the enterprise level via DHCP pinning, I might
see if we can reactivate our existing BMC flash offering, but based on
your hardware if that's OK with you.
Yeah, sure. I'm just making these to scratch my own itch. Didn't think
there'd be enough demand for you guys to bother producing them though?
--Daniel
We have some internal demand still; not looking high volume at all but
maybe whip up a few spares while we're at it? :-)
--
Timothy Pearson
Raptor Engineering
+1 (415) 727-8645 (direct line)
+1 (512) 690-0200 (switchboard)
https://www.raptorengineering.com
--
https://mail.coreboot.org/mailman/listinfo/coreboot
--
Thierry Laurion
Andrew Luke Nesbit
2018-11-08 06:06:29 UTC
Permalink
Dear Daniel and Timothy,

I hope you don't mind me coming into the middle of your conversation and
taking this offline.

See below for comments...
Post by Timothy Pearson
Post by Daniel Gröber
Yeah, sure. I'm just making these to scratch my own itch. Didn't think
there'd be enough demand for you guys to bother producing them though?
We have some internal demand still; not looking high volume at all but
maybe whip up a few spares while we're at it? :-)
The background to my attempt is as follows. I had a similar intention,
i.e., to make some to scratch my own itch. At the time I was starting
work on coreboot and OpenBMC, but unfortunately I fell very ill over New
Year 2017/2018. After that, during any time that I wasn't at work, I
was looking for a new job. I finally have found one that has been good.
It's been only a couple of weeks so far, and we're hoping it stays this
good.

During that time I had to stop work on coreboot and OpenBMC and focus on
my health, family, and (paid!) work. Now, finally, I am starting to get
freed up enough to resume this project.

Timothy: I was intending on writing to you during that time to ask for
some advice. I hope still to do so in the near future, and I hope you
won't mind.

Daniel: Please could you add me to your list of "interested people"? I
am very keen to go in with a community order.

In one of my previous emails I offered to contribute financially to help
offset out-of-pocket costs. FYI, I am not representing anybody except
myself. There were no ulterior motives to my offer. I have no agenda.

I'm able to offer you a few ASMB5-iKVM modules to help you continue your
experiments if this is helpful. (And possibly one ASMB4-iKVM if I can
find a spare.) Gratis, of course. And to keep.

I mentioned in that previous message that I wanted to do something
almost exactly the same as what you have produced earlier this year.
Including releasing the designs in a libre-friendly way. The D16 I had
at the time was insufficient for methodical, analytical experimentation.
Thank you for all your work in making this happen sooner rather than later.

From my experience and the messages I received when I was working on
OpenBMC, there are indeed a lot of people who would be interested in
good quality clones of these modules.

Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help.

Kind regards,

Andrew
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T***@gmx.com
2018-11-17 01:50:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by Daniel Gröber
Hi,
Post by Angel Pons
Is it me, or is that thing a SPI flash chip on a PCB plus a few
transistors? It seems like copying the PCB design is rather doable, or am I
missing something?
Indeed, very doable, but tedious work ;)
https://github.com/DanielG/asmb4
https://oshpark.com/shared_projects/jZLoDQ3Y
I had the schematics lying around on paper for a while now but I was
too lazy to digitize them until now. The design is completely
untested, I just ordered some boards though so we'll see.
FWIW if anyone is interrested in getting some assembled boards I might
do a small production run.
Holy crap awesome you are the best dude!

I asked about this awhile ago and I wish you had replied :D

I have boards without it so I would love to buy some if they are priced
lower than the official one - Do you have an estimate?

Might be a way for you to make a bit of extra cash as you could peddle
them to the various core/libreboot D8/D16 sellers plus leah/minifree,
the fsf, raptor (for integricloud x86) etc.

It is still quite important to have these boards as
propriatary-equivilant-functional for applications that don't yet run on
POWER (talos 2/blackbird) and this is a great step considering the D8
and many D16's even new don't come with that chip and they sell for IMO
too much on ebay. (my linky is $30 plus a silly $30 shipping for tiny
chip - so $60)
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